In 1962, the Swiss theologian Karl Barth made his one and only trip to the United States. The visit was a whirlwind tour, eagerly followed by the media, that saw him deliver lectures at the University of Chicago and Princeton that would be published as Evangelical Theology and even visit San Quentin maximum security prison seven years before Johnny Cash would make it there. On several occasions Barth spoke out about the wretched conditions he witnessed in American prisons. He knew a thing or two about prison conditions from his regular preaching to the inmates in Basel. Continue reading Every Christian is a Politician
While the first ten books of The City of God are directed towards addressing the charges of the pagan critics who maintained that Christianity was responsible for the sack of Rome in 410 A.D., in the remaining books (XI-XXII) Augustine directs his attention to the arc of Scripture and the task of narrating the intertwined history of the “two cities.” The following is one of the central quotes in which Augustine makes clear his understanding of the differentiation between the two cities: Continue reading Augustine on the Two Cities
“Christian participation in politics starts with Christians first appraising the world in which they find themselves. This appraisal involves examining political situations as if God mattered for those situations. This is why for us ethics is a matter of seeing the world in such a way that one can accurately survey one’s available options. Those options, moreover, depend on the existence of a people who make options available because of the kind of people they are. Continue reading The Failure of Political Imagination (Series on “Minding the Web”)
“For unless a people exist who have a narrative more determinative than the story shaped by the politics of the day, I fear we will continue to produce politicians like Donald Trump, people who not only seem to be dangerous but are dangerous. They are, moreover, all the more dangerous because no people seem to exist who are capable of telling them the truth. Continue reading Losing the Plot in a Time Called Trump (Series on “Minding the Web”)
This is the fourth in a series of posts highlighting captivating, provocative, or simply entertaining quotes from the forthcoming book Minding the Web: Making Theological Connections by Stanley Hauerwas with Robert J. Dean (Cascade).
“To find the proper words” strikes me as the great challenge for the recovery of the church’s visibility. Consider, for example, Bonhoeffer’s reflections in the Ethics—tellingly in the section “Ethics as Formation”—in which he describes how Hitler, the one who tyrannically despises humanity, makes use of the meanness of the human heart by giving it other names. Continue reading Bonhoeffer on “Stolen Words” (Series on “Minding the Web”)
The following reflection was originally posted earlier today on the website of Amberlea Presbyterian Church.
I imagine that there are many bleary-eyed Americans arriving at their places of work this morning. I am simply an interested observer in Canada, yet I found myself up into the wee hours of the morning unable to pry myself away from the television coverage of the final stages of what has been an extremely divisive, and often ugly, presidential campaign. This morning there is extra spring in the steps of many our neighbours to the South who are elated with the surprising election results. Others, for whom the election did not go as planned, find themselves in a place of sheer despondency. While it’s understandable that the candidates and those who have worked so hard to support them would feel such emotions, I would suggest that this should not be the case for Christians. Continue reading The Morning After